We "instructablers" know, a garage can be one of the most useful spaces in a home and it certainly is the most versatile. But the modern man and woman have different needs than a traditional dingy car park with a shoddy roll-up door can provide. It's the 21st century and we're trading out our paint brushes for digital cameras, our hammer and nails for 3D printers, and our work benches with laptops and flat screen monitors. A room which is traditionally used to be a place for turning wrenches is now probably more suited for something more up-to-date. Let's turn a drafty, noisy, stinky, dank and uncomely garage into a climate controlled, isolated space with a modern-minimalist look.
Today, we'll be building the GARAWÄL, a movable wall to convert your garage into a modern workspace, home theater, man cave, she shed or home office. To do so we will need to, firstly, isolate the space from the elements, secondly, isolate the garage from outside sound and, last but not least, give the room a livable aesthetic.
Step 1: What's the Plan?
The construction of the wall is quite straightforward and, once complete, results in a mobile partition that seals the garage off and acts as a contemporary accent wall.
We'll start by printing the attached plans and collecting the following tools and materials:
Hole Saw Bit
Spackle Knife or Trowel
Roller and Brushes
(2) 10' 2x4
(12) 8' 2x4
(1) 8' 2x8
(8) 2 1/4" Swivel Casters
(2) 4'x3' 1/2" Plywood
(3) 4'x8' 1/2" Drywall Sheets
(3) 4'x8' 4" Mylar Coated Foam Insulation Sheets
(1) Roll of Aluminum/Mylar Insulation Tape
(1) Box of 1-5/8" Construction Screws
(1) Box of 2-1/2" Construction Screws
(1) Box of 1-1/4" Drywall Screws
(1) Roll Drywall Tape
(5) 10' Strips of Corner Bead
(1) Gallon Bucket of Spackle
(2) Eyelet Screws
(1) Small Hook
(1) 12" 3/16" Cable
(2) 3/16" Ferrules
(2) Surface Mount Road Case Handles
(1) Gallon of Paint
(To mount 40" flat screen):
(2) Extension Cords
(1) Screw Hook
(1) Surge Protector Power Strip
(1) Pack Electrical Connectors
(1) Pack of Wire Clips and Nails
(2) Outlet Boxes
(1) AC Electrical Outlet
(1) HDMI Outlet
(1) HDMI Cord
(1) TV Mount
(32) Countersunk Neodymium Ring Magnets
(1) Box of Small, Flush-head Wood Screws (to attach magnets)
Step 2: Let's Build the Frame
The frame of the wall is simple and based on the design of the existing walls in your home with a few key differences. The GARAWÄL is designed to be sturdier than a typical wall and to be mounted on wheels to be easily repositionable. Take a look at the plans for step one before continuing.
To build the bottom frame, we'll cut a 10' 2x4 down to 9' 5.5" and attach four 81" 2x4 uprights and one 38.5" 2x4 upright as shown in the diagram.
We can then add our crossbars and vertical supports as shown in diagram 2, and add our plywood shelf bottom and top as shown in diagrams 3 and 4.
Then secure your Swivel Casters temporarily. The frame can now be put in place, tested for fit and spacers can be added to the mounting plates of the rear Casters to account for slope in the garage floor, if necessary.
Once everything is square and fitting closely, we can add L-Brackets at the base to maintain 90 degree conrers. Then continue to the next step.
Step 3: Finish the Frame
We're making progress now!
The wall can now be positioned face down to continue attaching frame components according to diagrams 5 and 6. Be sure to measure twice and cut once, use a square to ensure everything is level and true and check your work often.
Once complete your frame can be lifted into place and checked for fit and function. Press the frame against the wall, mark with a pencil where it makes contact with the wall, roll it around and make any necessary adjustments before continuing.
Next, we will mount our remaining 2x4s to the wall precisely where the GARAWÄL makes contact, inside the pencil marks we just made.
Step 4: Add Hardware, Mounts, Drywall, Insulation and Paint
Now that the frame of our wall is complete and mounting boards are attached to the wall we can begin to add our components, accessories and finish our wall.
We'll organize our parts before moving forward.
Let's start by mounting the drywall. Hanging the drywall is a science; use large sheets support them evenly and affix them to the frame with drywall screws. Finishing the drywall with corner bead, tape, spackle and texture is an art. If you have not worked with drywall before, you will want to read up on the process before pursuing this step.
Next, we can mount our outlet boxes to a vertical 2x4 making sure the box protrudes as much as the thickness of our drywall, 1/2" in this case. Next, carefully cut holes around the outlet boxes in the drywall from the back with a utility knife and install the outlets with the screws provided, leaving the face plates to the side until after paint.
The GARAWÄL mounts to the wall around your garage door magnetically to ensure ease of operation and a tight fit every time. Installing the magnets is simple. With your GARAWÄL pressed tightly against your 2x4 wall mounts, make a pencil mark four inches from the top of the wall on both the wall and the 2x4 mount and another mark two inches below that on both as well. Do the same four inches from the bottom and another two inches above. Now mark the depth. Since the 2x4 frame which meets the wall mounts is 1.5" in width, we will mark the depth of the position of our magnets .75" in, so that our magnets are centered. Now, attach your Forstner bit and mark a depth equal to a stack of two magnets and drill all of your corresponding holes to the appropriate depth at each of your marks. Magnets can then be paired in two and a small, flush-head wood screw can be inserted into each pair and screwed into the holes ensuring all north poles on the 2x4 mounts are facing corresponding south poles on the wall.
With the wall magnetically attached, an eyelet screw can be attached to the top of the 2x4 mount and another can be attached adjacently to the wall. Then loop one end of your steel cable through an eyelet and close the loop by attaching a ferrule and crimping with a crimper or vise grip. Make a similar loop on the other side and add a hook. Repeat on the other side. You can now hook the cables to the eyelets on the wall for added security and to avoid unwanted movement or tipping.
We can now attach all wiring. We will first mount our power strip inside the wall near the AC outlet. We can cut off the plug of the power strip and strip the wires. Next, cut the male end from one of your extension cords and strip those ends as well. Connect the green, black and white wires of both together with spade connectors and attach to the appropriate terminals of the AC outlet. Refer to the instructions which came with your outlet if you are unsure how to connect your outlet. You can now plug any gadgets you want into your power strip, plug your wall's extension cord into a wall outlet and all your electronics will power up along with the outlet on the outside for convenience.
We can pop a HDMI cable into the back of the HDMI outlet, drill a hole with our hole saw next to the TV mount so we'll be ready to feed our power and HDMI cables through once the TV is ready to be mounted. Take this opportunity to manage your wires neatly with the wire mounts. You won't have access to some of the wires after the next step and we want everything to be secure.
Next, let's cut and insert our insulation. Insulation can easily be measured and cut with a utility knife and should be placed inside each individual cavity of the wall's interior frame. Once inserted, connect all the seams and gaps with insulation tape.
Throw a couple of coats of paint on, add your optional TV Wall Mount and screen now according to the manufacturer's instructions and make sure to get it centered and level. Lastly, add your handles to easily move the wall.
Step 5: Enjoy Your New Space!
What a difference that makes! Your garage has been now been converted to a modern livable space, sheltered from the weather and isolated from the outdoors. Not only that, you can easily roll your wall to the side and access your garage door!
What are you going to with your new space?
Thanks for checking out my design! Build one yourself; it is simple and the benefits are astounding. If you like this project, be sure to subscribe to follow along with this garage conversion including flooring, custom built furniture and a secret surprise!